My Chicago

Jane Byrne, Author W. W. Norton & Company $22.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-393-03073-0
In an action- and intrigue-packed autobiography, the former mayor of Chicago recalls the turbulent histories of her immigrant family and of her beloved city, plagued with strikes, race riots, civil rights marches that turned violent and other upheavals. A widow and former Kennedy campaigner, 26-year-old Byrne was recruited as an aide in the early 1960s by all-powerful boss and then-mayor Richard Daley. She rose swiftly through the party ranks to the top of Chicago's byzantine political structure. Running against Daley's machine after his death, she won the 1979 mayoral contest and served a stormy term fraught with economic and labor problems. Her three successive bids for reelection were defeated by racial politics and by opponent Richard Daley Jr.'s dirty tricks, argues Byrne. The narrative is spiced with anecdotes and shrewd appraisals of political figures: a despondent Jimmy Carter, image-obsessed Reaganites and the Daleys, father and son, who first promoted and then apparently thwarted the ambitions of this remarkable woman. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Hardcover - 978-0-517-12506-9
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